The Case for Community Managed Libaries

The Case for Community Managed Libaries

Community Managed Libraries

Up until recently there have been relatively few examples of community management and ownership of libraries. In August 2011 there were 29 examples are known in England. This number continued to grow during 2011 and 2012 and there are now well over 100 known examples.

Local authorities across the country are now seriously considering transferring library services and assets at an unprecedented rate and scale. This toolkit focuses on community owned models for delivery of library services including different forms of local community based organisations, as well as Town and Parish Councils.

Although spending cuts is undoubtedly a major driver in this recent surge in library service and asset divestment by local authorities, evidence from existing community managed libraries shows that there is potential for the transfer to community ownership and / or management to achieve significant benefits including:

  • Reduced running costs.
  • Increased community involvement and control of local services.
  • Increased use of services.
  • Service innovation and diversification.
  • Supporting sustainable community enterprises.
  • Improved access to services.
  • A wide range of additional social benefits.

Visit the case studies featured on this site for some current examples.

Here at last!

Posted by Anton Schultz  |  7th Jun 2011
It’s great to see the Community Knowledge Hub finally come to fruition. During the past few months I have been working with colleagues and Locality members, and talking with Local Authorities and Community Organisations all over the country to develop support for a new wave of emerging community managed libraries.

Fresh Horizons

22nd Jul 2011

The Chestnut Centre, managed by Fresh Horizons provides an example of a community managed library helping to achieve benefits arising through ...

Generic Files Icon

Fresh Horizons - Case Study

This case study provides an in depth look at Fresh ...

MLA Community Managed Library Review

2nd Aug 2011

This document published in July 2011 references 29 existing community managed libraries forming around one per cent of England’s libraries. The ...

Chalfont St Giles

2nd Aug 2011

The Community Library is an independent library run and staffed entirely by volunteers from the village. The Community Library offers a service ...

Alt Valley Community Trust

11th Aug 2011

Alt Valley Community Trust have managed to transform Croxteth Community Library service, drive up use, and make significant savings to the authority ...

A ground level view

Posted by Anton Schultz  |  19th Aug 2011
There’s been a lot going on with community organisations and residents all over the country coming together to save their libraries since my last post - here’s a quick roundup to reflect some of the activity.

News Round-up from the Network

Posted by Anton Schultz  |  18th Oct 2011
We are pleased to now be working with a number of local authorities and community organisations across the country to establish the network in earnest.

Saving Dorset's Libraries

Posted by Marcus  |  28th Oct 2011
Two stories of efforts to transform and save community libraries in Dorset. Thanks to our contributors from Lyme Regis Development Trust and Friends of Charnmouth Library.

Featured Content

Link Icon

Change, options and how to get there: Learning from the Future Libraries Programme Phase 1

This document reviews the learning from the Futures Libraries Programme 10 ...
Generic Files Icon

MLA Community Managed Libraries Report

This document is intended to inform local authorities who are reviewing ...